And have a better trip in the process
My most, um, memorable train trip is rocking up at the train station in Nong Khai a couple of hours before departure, thinking we could get a sleeper berth. Needless to say, we'd badly miscalculated, and spent a 14 hour overnight trip, on a rock hard seated bench in 3rd class. This was pre-coup and the Thai men spent most of the trip drinking between the carriages and the conductor flirted wildy with my friend by showing her pictures of (dead) people whose fallen out of trains... My contact lenses glued to my eyeballs, the Israeli guys across the aisle took it in turns sleeping under their seats, and of course the Thai couple opposite us whose knees we were trying not to touch with our own, giggled at us the entire night. Needless to say, 10 years on it's actually one of my favourite travel memories!
I got it right on trip a couple of years ago, booked way in advance, fell asleep just out of Bangkok and woke up at sunrise in the jungle outside of Trang - magical!
I understand that planes can be quicker when you're on a time limit, but will always choose train travel if I have the option!
BC (before covid naturally) train travel was a thing in Thailand, so much so that the sleepers were booked out by tour groups far in advance. I've been up and down, up and down by Thai trains, last time in 2018, I could not book a sleeper within three weeks of when I wanted to travel, ended up flying.